The access and transparency of data from the data spigot has gone from a trickle to fire hose. Open source data and programs have usher in a new era of BIG data. Private and public sector tools have been developed that graphically present and analyze data with the click of a mouse. This data explosion has enabled PART to revise its route analysis in an effort to increase use public transit across the region.
In the past PART relied on commuter data from county to county and employee zip code data from large employers. Since 2010 more detailed commuter data is available. PART now uses:
- Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) data through an online tool called On The Map;
- Catchment Area Analyses using Socio-Economic Data from the Piedmont Triad Regional Model;
- H &T, a measure of the overall cost of housing and transportation cost by families by location;
- Transit Propensity, a measure of ridership and transit service support based on population and employment;
- Remix, a route analysis tool that calculates route cost, length, hours, and service demographics automatically; and
- Route ridership projections and potential from a formula developed by PART.
In early 2015 the PART Planning Department incorporated these tools and data sources into an analysis of Route 4 – Medical Express. PART was connecting with Triangle Transit in Alamance County and funds were available to increase frequency. The data was used to develop a ridership projection (based on historical ridership and the amount of increase frequency) and a ridership potential (based on total number of people and jobs that could access the increased service) customized to PART’s unique commuter express service.
PART now uses that methodology to analyze all the routes and major service changes. Click here to view completed route analyses…